It was wonderful to attend the opening of the State of the Art Quilts Exhibition in April, at the Wellers Hill Bowls Club. What an amazing range of stunning art quilts.
I particularly enjoyed Sue Dennis’s potted history of 2QAQ, from her description of early meetings in her kitchen, accompanied by food and wine, planning for guest speakers and ways to educate 2Q members about art quilting and design, to the launch of the first SotAq Exhibition in 2009.
“What is an art quilt? We put together a definition and this definition is, I think, always on the entry form and our definition was a fibre or mixed media piece of of 2 or more layers, held together in some way. The finished piece needed to be identifiable as a quilt, and I think that broad definition is still applicable today. It allows the freedom and flexibility of what people are doing out there in Qld Quilters and in the wider community of art quilting. You don’t have to have three layers. If you want to work with two layers you can. If you want to work with 3, 4, 5 layers you can. And these quilts are flexible in the fact that the outer perimeter only has to be a certain size – it can be long and skinny, it can be wide and skinny, it can be triangular, circular. Its really up to the maker. Having no theme also means you have a lot of flexibility.
So SotAq09 – that exhibition was actually held at the beginning of the year. It was launched with Expertise Events on the Gold Coast and at that exhibition we had two jurors, Allison Muir, a well known art quilter from Sydney, and Christine Ballinger who was the director of the Noosa Art Gallery at that time. And being in two different places in Australia they juried from images on their computer. So this was how it was done, this is how it was done overseas . You put in your entry on line, it’s collated, the images are sent to the jurors without your name. They don’t know whose quilt it is. They are looking at the images, they might have an artist statement and the size and that’s how they do the jurying. From the 29 entries that we had at the first State of the Art 09 exhibition, 19 of those entries were accepted to be hung and tour for the next year.
In September 2009, we wrote the 2QAQ Mission Statement. And it said one of Qld Quilters objectives is to encourage and maintain high standards of workmanship and design in both traditional and contemporary work. 2QAQ was born of the desire to uphold and maintain the contemporary or art quilt fields of Qld Quilter’s members. 2QAQ’s goal is to promote the love and creation of art quilts by holding meetings that provide a variety of experiences and inspiration through demonstrations, guest speakers, challenges and projects. The SotAq juried quilt show is the accompanying celebratory exhibition of our Qld Quilters art quilting talents. SotAq’s objectives are to bring together art quilters to exhibit their work, give due recognition to the role of the art quilt as an art form, inspire others to develop their skills in art quilting, demonstrate the changing role of the quilting art in Queensland and promote art quilts to a broad cross section of people. I think we are still doing that. Having seen what is actually touring throughout Queensland in the current exhibition is fantastic, and I congratulate everyone who has entered and everyone whose work was selected.” Sue Dennis